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Virtual Ch. 110 (CSPAN3)






United States 14, Korea 10, Vietnam 8, Soviet Union 8, Us 6, China 6, South Korea 4, Boomeroo 3, Dr. Suess 3, United Nations 3, Truman 3, America 3, Hollywood 3, Wisconsin 2, U.s. 2, Dwight D. Eisenhower 2, Harry Truman 2, Joseph Mccarthy 2, North Korea 2, Washington 2,
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  CSPAN    [untitled]  

    May 14, 2012
    12:30 - 1:00am EDT  

i thought i wasn't going to read to you, but no, i'm just going to read the end of it. the very end. because it's about developing weapons and one side getting something and the other side responding with a bigger weapon. but at the very end, they have developed the big boy boomeroo. okay? and right here at the very end, the yooks and the zooks are clashing. they're coming to the wall that separates them and both of them have the big boy boomeroo. and here's how dr. suess ends the book. grandpa, i shouted, be careful. who's going to drop it, will you or will he? be patient, said grandpa. we'll see, we'll see. it's a cliffhanger. dr. suess right there. who is going to drop the big boy boomeroo? it's the cold war. we have atomic weapons, the soviet union has atomic weapons.
they have an atomic bomb, we have to have one. we have to have a hydrogen bomb that takes an atomic bomb to detonate, set it off. dr. suess. anyway, it's an arms race now. what is the soviets' response? here we go. it's not enough. they want to have the largest standing army in the world. they're going to develop one that encompasses nearly 3 million men. that's a lot of folks. they're going to escalate their atomic weapons program. if we're working op a hydrogen bomb, then they're going to be working on it as well or something else. the most interesting thing in terms of soviet response is this -- support for their satellites and i use that term in quotes
because i mean not only their countries. they're going to ensure that their control of eastern europe is solid, solidified. no threat -- is going to pour a lot of money into their weapons development program as well as their space technology program. and they will put into space rockets and satellites and in 1957, they're going to do something that absolutely terrified us. what is launched in 1957? >> sputnik. >> sputnik. this little thing, ball-looking device that's orbiting the earth. beeping as it's going across.
it absolutely terrified us. we don't have that. we have not yet successfully put a satellite into space, and yet, they have. the shock, the realization is they're ahead of us in this space race. and so we've got to catch up. sputnik is a drop kick to nasa. we're going to push, put a lot of money into rocket technology, space technology, and eventually, we will win this race and put a man on the moon before they do. but that's another lecture for another day. you need to understand, there are suspicions and paranoias on both sides. when we do something, the soviet union responds. when they do something, it affects us. and the cold war is not done yet. it's not just the fall of china. it's not just the united states cozying up to japan. but it's going to explode the cold war is going to heat up if
you will, in korea. now, remember the last lecture, world war ii? we talked about korea being occupied by japan. once the war is over, the united states and the soviet union decide to divide korea with the united states being in control of the southern part of korea, the soviet union is going to be administering the northern part of korea. eventually, both u.s. and ussr agree that we will withdraw and allow the koreans to have some degree of self-determination. we're going to pull out, soviet union's going to pull out. the koreans will be able to determine their future and their fate. and we both did. the difference is, when we pulled out, we basically took everything with us. when the soviet union pulled out, they left behind a stockpile of weapons.
the most modern military technology that they had at the time, and that's the temptation that was going to be used the following summer, 1950, north korea with the use of soviet military armaments and try take possession of the entire country. this is exactly what kennan warned up about the soviet union is not content. they're going to expand into other areas. this is expansion trying to take over the southern part of korea. we must respond. he doesn't go to congress to ask for a declaration of war. he thought that might set a bad precedent. whenever i need to send troops to some place, i don't want to have to go to congress and ask them every time.
so what he does is he goes to the united nations. asks for a force to be sent to prop up, to support, to defend the people of south korea. now, the united states is going to do all the heavy lifting here. we will have more men, more equipment, spend more money than any other country in the world defending south korea. but that's what's going to happen. since it's technically speaking korea is a police action, as the united nations called it, it's not an officially declared war because only congress can do that. what's going to happen. most of the fighting in 1950, is sort of a back and forth. the red arrow shows you the penetration of the north koreans deep into south korea and then
douglas mcarthur will land, which is over here on this eastern coast. he's going to land there and cut off the north korean forces in the southern part of the country. be very successful with that. then mcarthur decides not to be satisfied. he decides to move northward into the northern part of the country. be you follow that blue arrow, he's headed north. what's the country on the other side of the that dotted line. that's china. you have been in power less than a year. you know the policy of the united states that is to contain communist expansion. now all the sudden here at your back door you have a well-decorated united states general leading united nations forces, and they are getting closer and closer and closer. you're probably just as paranoid as stalin has been. if you're mao, you're probably
thinking this is all a means to an end. the war in korea is a means to an end. that is to drive mao and the communists from power in china. we're using the conflict as an excuse to invade china. his response is to send flood after flood of chinese troops. across the border to support the north koreans to stop the americans. by 1950, we get bogged down. the united states is not only fighting north korean communists, but now we're fighting chinese communists. this war will go on until 1953. the most significant military action occurs in this first year. by the summer of '53, we agreed to end this conflict with a permanent division of the country.
at the 38th parallel. south of the 38th parallel, south korea will be a free capitalistic state. it's a divided country today. one of the great flash points. you've got this lunatic in north korea who threatens nuclear warfare against somebody. waiting for countries around the world to pay him off. well, it's a flash point today. its origins is here in the middle of the cold war. one other area to move into. it's not just korea. it's not just china. outlined in red, what is that country? that's vietnam. this is an area we talked about called french indo-china.
we talked about how they invaded the french indo-china. there was nothing france could do about it. now that the war is over, they would like to have their own right to determine their nation and their status. this guy wants to do that. ohio which i -- that is ho chi minh. drafts a declaration of independence that's modelled after our own united states declaration of independence. if you put the two dock yumumen side by side, they are eerily similar. you would think the united states wants to support a nation
that wants to be free and independent. we don't. why not? we're not really going to support france in this. it's more of ho chi minh's political tendency. he's a communist. as much as we would like to support the independence of a nation, we're not going to support the independence of vietnam under communist control. we're going to contain it as best we can. that's next week's lecture for another day. vietnam gets a whole day. so there's an awful lot going on in terms of the cold war abroad, the mediterranean, western europe, western hemisphere, china, korea, vietnam, all of these things are a part of the cold war. shift gears now. while all of that's going on overseas, what effect does that have here at home?
the cold war on the home front. well, one of the things we're suspicious of are communists. if you want to get anything done, you give it to congress to do, so we're going to flush them out with a congressional committee called uact, the house un-american activities committee. one of the interesting things is, we're going to investigate hollywood. hollywood turns out all kinds of movies about world war ii. the enemy will the japanese. the enemy are the germans. why is it that hollywood is not producing movies in which the enemy are the russians? is it possible that the communists have infiltrated our film industry, and that's the reason why we're not producing these kinds ov movies? we're going to investigate. so we're going to have all kinds of subpoenas. we're going to have movie stars
come to washington, d.c. raise your right hand. i am not now, nor ever been, a member of the communist party. you deflect attention from yourself. you profess your undying devotion to all things american. m mom, apple pie. whatever the slogan is. ronald reagan, not president yet. they call all kinds of folks to come in and talk about whether or not communism has infiltrated the movie industry. if you decided, i'm not going to play this game, i'm an american, i have rights, we don't do this sort of thing in this country, suspicious, innuendo. well, we do. but there are ten folks who said, i will invoke my fifth
amendment rights. self-incrimination. i'm not going to answer your questions. well, you fwhee that means, don't you? you're a communist. kp exactly. if you're going to invoke your fifth amendment rights, that must mean you're a concommunist. you don't hire these people. they don't stand up and profess loyalty to this country, they must be a communist. don't hire them, because if you do, you know what that means. you're a communist. it goes and goes and goes. it's like that ripple effect. remember the soviet union has an atomic bomb, 1949. we need to figure out how that happened. it couldn't have been they developed the technology themselves. they had to have help. where did that help come from? it had to come from within the united states. one of the classic examples of
searching through and figuring out who was involved in espionage activities focuses on the husband and wife team ethel and julius rosenberg. >> why is the girl's name first? >> i decided to put it first, alphabetically. >> well, okay. >> they will be charged separately, but both convicted of espionage, passing along atomic secrets to the soviet union in 1951. and executed for espionage in 1953. this is serious business now. the united states has been infiltrated by soviet spies. nothing more serious than the atomic weapons program and the
rosenbergs paid the price. what we have, then n the united states is a full-fledged red scare. we talked about this after world war i in the 1920s. this is a second red scare. we're afraid the united states has been infiltrated. we are suspicious of everyone and everything. your next door neighbor might be a spy. it's your american responsibility, your duty, to report suspicious activity. the band leader, synonymous with the red scare and flushing out the communists, wherever they might be, is this fellow. recognize him? yeah, joseph mccarthy, senator from wisconsin. united states senator from wisconsin.
what he's going to do is gain a lot of attention in 1950. he's going to go to wheeling, west virginia. he's going to deliver a speech. in part of that speech, he's going to hold up a piece of paper. he says, i hold her in my hand a list of 205 names of known communists working in the state department. see i have a piece of paper in my hand? see that writing on it? there's names on here. i'm joseph mccarthy. i'm a united states senator. i'm waving a piece of paper in my hand, and i'm saying i have a list of 205 known communists working in the state department. don't you think that got a little bit of attention? now, we're not in the news cycle 24/7 like we are today. but it's still going to get a lot of attention in 1950. all the sudden the questions. who's on that list? how did he get the list? are there other communists other than in the state department? all the sudden a junior senator
from wisconsin is going to be the darling of the news media. who is he? how did he get the information? a clue that maybe some of mccarthy's claims and charges weren't necessarily on the up and up is that when he would repeat the claim that he knew of communists in their state department, the numbers kept changing. they go from 205 to 56. the numbers just kept changing. nonetheless, he is going to conduct hearings in washington, d.c., where individuals will be subpoenaed, come to testify as to what they know about communism infiltrating the federal government. this is the day and age of television. television is brand new in the 1950s. what the radio was to the 1920, the television is to the 1950s.
there's no better show on tv in the 1950s than the mccarthy hearings. people are glued to the set. i want to see who the communist is. when it's all said and done, he didn't get a single conviction. yet, his legacy still lives on to this day. i mean, when there is a -- charges, accusations that are filed that a certain group doesn't necessarily like, they'll say that's just mccarthyism. well, it's a part of the cold war. it's a part of the times of the early '50s in which we are paranoid and suspicious of all kinds of things. and generally, we look to the president in those days of leadership. >> is it the same thing as yellow journalism that we saw before? >> i'm not sure we're trying to sell newspapers so much in this regard. it's -- i'd say you're in the
general area, but with a slight difference of intent. less -- more political, less economical. all right. while all of this red scare is going on, we generally look to the president for leadership. harry truman, who had taken this very tough stand against the soviet union, he's got a very difficult by the early '50s. we're bogged down in korea. we're at a stalemate in terms of the soviet union. the slide said his hands are tied by politics. by that i mean harry truman is a democrat, yet members of his own paert are pulling away from him by the early '50s because he is starting to push for civil rights. that's another lecture for another day.
southern democrats, conservative southern democrats are going to push back against truman, who wants to push forward a civil rights agenda. so he loses support from his own democratic party, and the republicans aren't going to help truman anyway. they're just playing politics. truman's popularity plummets. by the early '50s, there's sort of a change in the political atmosphere. remember i talked about a 30-year cycle. the 1920s, conservative and republican. 40s, transition, if you l because of the war. we're back to our 30-year cycle. the 1950s are going to be more conservative and republican and dominated by these two guys. dwight d. eisenhower and richard
nixon. republican and much more conservative. who better to lead a cold war than a general? dwight d. eisenhower, one of the most deck raorated generals in d war ii. he wasn't really a politician. in fact, no one really knew if he was a republican or a democrat. not even interested in politics, but he decided to get involved. the republicans got him. everybody seemed to like ike, as he was known. he was just a very personable gentleman. well, the popularity of eisenhower is not just because of his military record of world war ii. it also has to do with the economy of the day. when you take a look at how the
united states emerged from world war ii, we're going to have this dramatic boom. when things are good, when people have jobs and they're having more income than they've ever had before, they tend to like the party. the republicans are going to be the benefactor of that in the 1950s. i'll give you three things here that are part of this post-war prosperity. simply because of world war ii, the united states is going to have a tremendous trade surplus, not a trade deficit. we're going to be sending a lot of american-made goods overseas to europe, to other parts of the world that have been devastated because of the war. that's going to fire up america's factories. remember when we were talking about the great depression and i said the new deal did an awful lot of good, put a lot of people back to work, but it didn't completely pull us out of the depression, only world war ii does. this is what i'm talking about now. we are -- americans are back to work as never before, and that continues into this post-war
period. another part of the prosperity is simply the cold war itself. the dramatic increase in the defense budget. we're building a lot of new weapons, and armaments for war. if you are in a defense-related industry, you've got a job and a gravy train to keep that job. then finally, the prosperity is due to something called the baby boom. sounds ridiculous, i know. if you were born between 1946 and 1964 -- let's see a show of hands. anybody? anybody? i'm a proud member of the baby boom generation. soldiers come back, get married, start families. there's this tremendous demographic called the baby boom. what does that have to do with economic prosperity?
when you start having kids, you start having to buy all kinds of things you don't usually use as an adult. i mean, all the sudden the size of your family has increased, so you have to buy baby clothes, a bigger car, a bigger house. you've got to have this and that. it's going to drive the american economy. the american consumer drives the american economy. these are very prosperous times for us as a people and as a nation. the prosperity benefits the republican party. my favorite word, and you knew it was coming, not everybody in america is happy. not everybody is content. you see, not everybody in
america is white. and the civil rights movement, the most important domestic movement in the second half of the century, that's the topic for the next lecture. the baby boomers of the 1950s, those folks grow up to be the flower children of the 1960s. yes, i'll share some stories. not everybody's happy, and not everybody's content in the 1950s. but those are all lectures for another day. questions that you have? >> who are some of the names on the list? >> probably one of the most famous names of writers that would be on that list would be green larker.
there's a list of -- it's not just screen writers, but it was directors and producers. you know, all of this was sort of hush-hush. these folks sort of went underground. to keep their jobs, they wrote with assumed names because no one would hire them. it's a great story about surviv survival. yes, ma'am? >> what's the -- didn't the soviets use -- [ inaudible ] >> they did. in order to try to acquire that many personnel, they are forcing, would probably be the best way to put it, men into military service as well as women. you don't have many options. >> why did the united states ignore ho chi minh, even though he was trying to help?
>> we're going to get to ho chi minh. i have an entire lecture on vietnam. i just needed to introduce him today to put it into context of the cold war. you need to understand that vietnam is a part of the cold war. i just wanted to bring him to your attention today. two lectures from now, we're going to talk about u.s. involvement in vietnam. so hang on to that. i'll get to it later. >> can we still use atomic bombs today? >> i hope not. actually, what we're doing today is destroys them. >> why? >> we really don't need the thousands that we have. >> how to you destroy an atomic bomb? >> that's a great question. >> put it in the ocean. >> i would think the answer is very carefully. all right. i hope you have a wonderful break. i will see you again afterwards.
we'll talk about civil rights movement and vietnam when we return. i think we'll have a quiz next time we gathering to. how's that? all right. see you.